Teresa Fritschi, Last Minute Travel and LMT Club Guest Blogger
Read more of Teresa’s posts on her blog
I recently received an email from my friend Ken at Last Minute Travel that said, “Would you like to be our #TravelTweetChat guest for this week? The topic is travel and romance.” To which I replied, “Yes, I’d love to!”
Eleven months of meeting (all kinds of) men through OKCupid, years of thinking (and writing) about “happy endings” as well as the promise of new beginnings, passion, intimacy, tenderness, romance, words to convey longing, reuniting, and love, exploring the world (largely alone) – maybe he wasn’t so far off with his subsequent words of “We need an expert on love and travel, that’s you!”
That being said, I am here to help you plan your Valentine’s Day travels. It’s time to roll up my sleeves!
The romantic love, rather than relationships for political expedience or strategic alliance, as most of Western society understands it can be directly traced to the courtly love of 12th century France. The troubadours and their lyrical love poetry sung to the accompaniment of a lyre or lute. In nearly every instance, this courtly love was directed toward a presumed married, virtuous and unattainable woman; an aristocrat surely, and written of as a goddess on earth. The words were always of her being pined for by a younger man. If he was sufficiently eloquent and physically compelling she might deign to take him as her lover – a grand passion, erotic love, in French called fin’amour (discreetly conducted, even if everyone knew) and, you should know, it was always HER CHOICE to call him to court or to her bedroom.
So, let our journey of love begin in France – but fast forward to Paris in the 20th Century.
I have loved every experience I have have ever had in Paris – every single drop of the joie de vivre (the joy of living), the taste of Bellinis and (multiple bottles of) Veuve Clicquot in Harry’s Bar, and the Bar at the Hôtel Lancaster, where exquisitely appreciative men tried to seduce me with their words into their arms whilst I simply wanted to climb the stairs of Sacré-Cœur.
The journey of love doesn’t require grandiosity. I know, I know, it’s lovely but romance can mean just as much when traveling in a late model van. Skating on the Fond Pond in Boston Common? Followed by a dinner of lobster fra diavolo at The Daily Catch in the North End and cannoli at Caffe Paradiso is perfect in a settled-into-our-relationship-let’s-just-be kind of way. If you aren’t “in love” or are not in a romantic relationship is there a better city in America for sharing with a best friend of either sex? I think not! I mean, Ray Kinsella and Terence Mann sitting in Fenway Park? Are you really going to tell me that their ‘bro-mance’ didn’t make you want to plan your own road trip to Kenmore Square to find your own Field of Dreams?